Thursday, May 21, 2015

Learning to Love Revising

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about what I've learned about rewriting. I'm nowhere near Expert level at this, but I've learned a lot in the last few years!

I MUCH prefer that initial draft - in fact, I could probably write 1st drafts forever and be happy.

But, I've learned to enjoy revising as well. I didn't think it would ever happen, but it has.

I like rereading that draft and finding sections I love, and sections that need to be eliminated post-haste!

I've learned to like weaving in details - although I'm still working at learning to weave in more description. Anyone else find that really, really hard???

I love the slash and burn rounds of editing. Trimming the story and finding those redundant phrases fills me with giddy pleasure. Weird, but true.

Adding/Deleting plot lines isn't something I'm adept at yet, but I'm working on it. Still gives me nightmares though!

How about you? What's your favourite (or least favourite!) part of the revising process?
(Hope to see you over at From the Write Angle!)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spring & Revising

Spring has truly reached us here in Northern Ontario!!!

Once the tulips start popping, it feels as if we've turned or back on the snow.
Cross your fingers!!!

I'm deep in the midst of revising one story while another simmers.
Once I've done another round on the simmering one, it'll be off to the beta readers
& I'll head back to this one.

How about you? Drafting, revising or marketing?
Where are you at this beautiful spring day?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Eclectic Tastes

For anyone who's been following my blog for a while, you probably know I have rather eclectic tastes. I've really noticed this while I've been working away on my NaNo project this month (reached 50k last week!!).

I don't like writing in silence, I prefer to have music or the TV on in the background, but my TV tastes don't match my writing tastes at all!

I write contemporary romance.

I watch sports, mysteries, and all kinds of SF.

Right now, I've got my Fringe DVDs playing - not exactly on the same wavelength as my romance. My other DVDs are along the same lines - Firefly/Serenity, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Battlestar Galactica, Grimm...

Not quite sure what that says about my brain. Maybe because the genres are so different, I'm not confused at all about what's going on in my story and what's on the screen. I do know I focus better on my writing with my TV faves (or sports) are playing on TV.

Or else I'm a little crazy - which no one has ruled out yet!

How about you? Do you write and watch the same genres? Or do you like to mix it up a bit?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Optimism

Camp NaNoWriMo is here and I've pitched my tent and am camping out for the month. While we still have piles of hardened snow in our front and back yards, we also have these popping up, so spring is finally on the way!

After piecing together my last draft and doing a round of revisions, I needed to let it sit for a bit, so it's a perfect time for NaNo.

I've set my goal at 30k for the month, but I'm already over 20k, so I know I won't have any trouble meeting it.

This story is a companion novel to the previous draft and another in my potential Bloo Moose series. I feel like I'm finally making progress incorporating conflict into my stories, and the last 3 stories will hopefully be publishable after a few more rounds of revisions and edits.

Maybe it's just spring making me optimistic, or the excitement of NaNo, but I feel I'm becoming a stronger writer and hoping I'll have the confidence to put those stories out there when they're ready!

How about you, is spring making you optimistic too? Or am I the only delusional one around here?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Photo Tips

I need some!

Today I'm over at From the Write Angle talking about some blogging tips. Hope you'll pop on over and check it out.

One of the tips I mention is to use a photo of yourself as an avatar. There are so many good reasons for this - the most important being that people connect to people, not to symbols, or even pretty purple flowers.

Yet, I've never used a photo. I've had 2 avatars - both flowers. As a romance writer, I figure they've worked pretty well, but it's not as powerful of a visual statement as a face.

My problem: I write romance. I teach elementary school.

So, I can't/won't use a photo of myself.

I've considered a silhouette, an eye, hands,... but so far, nothing has really worked.

Any suggestions on what kind of photo I could use??? Do you use a photo? Do you find avatars as memorable/identifiable as photos?

Monday, March 23, 2015


I did it! I managed to get my entire draft recovered and saved (in multiple places!) after my latest computer disaster. I even found the Changes file I needed to remind me of all the things I needed to tweak. I've updated my Mozy and Dropbox folders too.

In the process, I've been learning a lot about my new Mac.

It didn't take too long to get used to the touch pad - scrolling with 2 fingers, right click is now a 2 fingered click, and scrolling upside down.

I've also figured out most of my short cuts. I used the Home & End, Page Up & Down keys a lot on my old laptop, but they don't exist on my Mac. Between the Function & Command Keys, I've got most of those figured out. Took longer to figure out the Delete key being the old backspace & Fn+Delete being the old delete.

I'm still finding the positioning of the Command key awkward, but I assume I'll get used to it too.

Now, my big problem is switching between the Mac at home and the PCs at school. We'll see how messed up my brain gets with all the switching!

At this point I can't say I've really got a preference for either PC or Mac - I like them both. What about you? Are you a PC or a Mac user?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Shelley Sly - MG vs Romance

Please welcome Shelley Sly to the blog today!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Jemi!
So, I love middle grade. There’s something thrilling about writing for kids, and the conversations I’ve had with young readers have been the best part of my job as a writer. But I didn’t start out writing MG.

I started out writing romance.

I’ve written short stories of all different genres, but when I decided to get serious about being a
writer, I was set on writing romance novels with college-aged protagonists. (I guess today it would be classified as New Adult Romance, but back when I wrote my first few novels, it didn’t have such a clear genre.)

Here’s what I loved about romance:
  • The moment when the hero and heroine meet. I love introducing two important characters and seeing how they react to each other!
  • Showing the sweet side of the hero. My favorite heroes are the ones who are just so loving and thoughtful… even if they try to be a tough guy on the outside!
  • The ups and downs of the relationship. I enjoyed putting my hero and heroine through some challenging, heartbreaking times, as long as it ended in a happily ever after!
I didn’t even plan on switching gears and writing for children. But working in an elementary school and being around kids every day inspired me to write for them. It’s not the same as writing romance, but there are things I love about middle grade, too:
  • Even though there’s no romantic love, I still have fun introducing two important characters, such as two soon-to-be best friends, or two long-lost relatives.
  • There might not be a swoon-worthy hero, but I like showing the depth of young characters, too. Maybe the carefree class clown has a very sensitive side, or the rough and tough tomboy secretly loves pretending to be a princess.
  • Other relationships, such as family or friendships, can have ups and downs just like a romance. I enjoy making my characters argue and stop speaking to each other, only to be good friends again later.

Two totally different genres, and yet, they’re more similar than you’d think! I’m pretty attached to MG right now, but I do look forward to returning to romance sometime in the future.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about writing in multiple genres!

Shelley Sly lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area with her husband and their chocolate lab mix. She writes middle grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in. Shelley is the author of WISHING FOR WASHINGTON, and her brand new release, ONE HUNDRED THIRTY STARS. You can find her online at

Thanks Shelley! I adored Wishing for Washington and can't wait to read One Hundred Thirty Stars!

I love reading in so many genres (obviously MG is on that list) & I've dabbled in writing multiple genres too. I can totally see me branching out into other genres & age categories once I've got myself some more time!

How about you? Do you write in multiple genres? Want to?